Outside with Charlie: Outdoor adventures

By From page A8 | July 18, 2012



Hiking season is on and it looks to be a good one. Two recent trips to the high country have been very nice, with great weather and an appreciation for the beauty of El Dorado County and neighboring Alpine County.

The last time I wrote about Carson Pass, there was still a bit of snow on the trail from Lake Winnemucca to Round Top Lake. The snow on the trail is gone, and has receded to the side of the trail.

The hike from the Carson Pass Trail head to Frog Lake is, depending on your hiking ability, about 45 minutes and covers a mile. The wildflowers that dot the area on the way to Frog are still there, although the lupine appear to have gone to seed.

Frog Lake is a good tune-up hike. The mile trip from the trailhead is kind to the legs. Now that you’ve got a hike to Frog Lake logged in, it’s time to go back and hike again, this time to Lake Winnemucca.

The beginning of the route is the same. Head out on the trail, and when you get to Frog Lake stop for a break, then continue on to Lake Winnemucca. You will hike another 1.3 miles.

As you get closer to Lake Winnemucca, the wildflowers are more in evidence as the columbine, buttercups, paintbrush, lupine, penstemon, shooting stars, and asters are still blooming here.

This is a wonderful place for lunch or a big snack. Just across the lake is Round Top, a rather impressive mountain that still has snow on its sides.

If you take your dog with you, remember that all dogs are supposed to be released while on the trail.

As you look at Round Top, take your binoculars and scan the ridge. Now and again, there are hearty souls who scramble to the top, which is a class 3 plus climb, meaning hard and steep.

The trail that got you here is also the one that will take you, on another day, to Round Top Lake.

The Carson Pass area is rich with opportunities for outdoor adventure. Make sure you have enough food and water because once you’re out on the trail, you’re on your own. Have a great time and get outside.

Charlie Ferris

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